Sunday, January 15, 2012

La Vita e Dolce, Part Five: Sugarwise Ways and Resources

V.  Sugarwise Ways
  • Steady your blood sugar levels with complex carbs, or a blend of carbs and protein, which time-release sugar as they breakdown: kidney/black/pinto beans, peas, chick peas, lentils, nuts, nut butters, oats, whole wheat berries, brown rice, barley, bulgar, high-fiber fruits and non-starchy vegetables such as dark green lettuce, kale, Swiss chard, bok choy, zucchini, cauliflower, tomatoes, celery, cucumber, cabbage, broccoli and other green veggies.
  • Don’t fall for the Whole Grain Hoax. Whole grains should be whole to your naked eye (like oatmeal from oats, or crackers and breads with whole flax seeds). According to the Whole Grains Council, foods may be labeled “whole grain” as long as the food product delivers “approximately the same rich balance of nutrients that are found in the original grain seed. If the grain has been processed (e.g., cracked, crushed, rolled, extruded, and/or cooked)” it can still be called “whole grain.” While “whole grain” cereals, flours and breads parade as healthy foods, remember that because they are refined, they can be rapidly digested and cause blood sugar to spike. Forego these in favor of the list above.
  • Become leptin-sensitive again! Check out Neurosurgeon Dr. Jack Kruse’s “Leptin Rx."
  • Sugar craves sugar. If you are craving sugar or refined grains, ask yourself when you last ate and what you last ate. Your brain responds to low blood sugar by signaling you to get a quick sugar fix, which perpetuates the sugar roller coaster. Get off that ride, by eating a complex carbohydrate with some protein and water.
  • Make your own meals! Use, which calculates sugar content and other Nutritional Facts for its recipes using the USDA nutritional information database.
  • Read the ingredients list, looking for added sugar in all its guises to determine the source of the total sugar - is it from a whole food (good for your body) or added sugar? The Nutrition Facts label lists grams of sugar without distinguishing between naturally occurring sugars and added sugar.
  • Know how many servings you are eating. Cereals often say one serving is 3/4 cup, but our bowls hold at least double that amount. The old-fashioned 8 oz. Coca Cola bottle was considered one serving in the 1950‘s, with 27g of sugar. Today vending machines dispense 20 oz. bottles as one serving, with 65g of sugar. For a sedentary woman, or a child, that is more than 5 days’ worth of sugar. 
  • Check out what’s coming out (of you). Yes, I wrote that. Stool should be firm and floating (that means you are eating enough fiber and not too much sugar).
“One can keep tabs on a child’s diet by keeping an eye on their feces. If a young child’s stools have become loose, it is often a sign that they have been eating too much sugar and sweets...First there is a lapse in dietary wisdom and control, then there are loose stools, and then the child gets sick. If one catches this progression when the stools have become loose but before increased phlegm and dampness have been generated, and if one can get the diet back on track, then one can reverse this disease process, saving the child from becoming ill.” -- Bob Flaws, Keeping Your Child Healthy with Chinese Medicine
  • Use alternatives to sweet rewards. Whether for good behavior or for eating their veggies, children who are conditioned to think that sugar is a reward may become adults who see dessert as the “forbidden fruit” (they think they shouldn’t have it, but still strongly desire it). This encourages dis-inhibition: the only way to fully enjoy dessert is to eat unlimited amounts of it. Parents can reward good behavior with parent private time, game nights, books, etc. For great advice about raising healthy eaters, check out Child of Mine by Ellyn Satter.
  • Drink water or tea to quench thirst (especially after exercising and while you are digesting sugar). For a splash of flavor add lemon or orange slices, fresh mint from the garden, or ice cubes with berries frozen inside. Brew tea at home or make homemade lemonade to control the amount of sweetener used. Stay away from beverages containing the words “drink” “cocktail” “punch” “beverage” “-ade” or “soda.” (They are glorified sugar water.)
  • Exercise to feel strong and be well, not to justify a high sugar diet. Your body  (your teeth, your liver, your pancreas) still has to process all that sugar, whether or not your metabolism is fast.
  • Go ahead, have dessert. Just keep portions small, savor each bite, and don’t insist on dessert as a daily ritual. French Women Don’t Get Fat author Mireille Guiliano says ”Scientifically, it has been proven that after three bites, your palate has been satisfied. It doesn't matter what you eat. So if you eat one boule (scoop) of ice cream, that's all you need. You don't have to eat pint after pint after pint.”
  • Lowfat products often compensate by doubling the sugar content - check your labels!
  • Buy unsweetened cereals and yogurts and add unsweetened dried cranberries or raisins, fresh berries or other fruits, chopped walnuts or almonds.
  • Opt for the sugars shaded in green in the Sugar Derivations Chart in part two of this series. They still count as added sugar, but at least these less refined sweeteners give you some minerals and antioxidants.
  • Use herbs and spices to make dishes tasty. Cinnamon is a sweet spice, two teaspoons of which can let you reduce the amount of sugar needed (try half what the recipe calls for). Try it in homemade hot cereals too. Others to try: mint, cloves, nutmeg, anise, ginger, lemon/orange zest, vanilla extract.
  • Favor unsweetened canned or frozen fruit packed in water or its own juices rather than those to which syrups have been added.
  • If you substitute honey, molasses, or fruit concentrate for sugar in a recipe, use half or less of the recommended amount for sugar. If the recipe calls for a cup of sugar, try using a quarter- to a half-cup of honey.
  • If you’ve had a lot of sugar to drink, brush your teeth soon after.
Now sing!
 "We like sweets a lot,
But they make your insides rot,
So remember it's your body
And the only one you've got"

"Be Careful What You Eat" Animaniacs, 1997 (alternate ending)

Revisit IV. How Does a High Sugar Diet Affect the Body? to see which ailments could be prevented or cured with diet change
Revisit III. Does HOW You Eat Your Sugar Make a Difference? to explore the science behind sugar overdoses
Revisit II. Is Sugar by Any Other Name (like “HFCS”) The Same Thing? to identify sugar in all its forms
Revisit I. How Much Sugar is Too Much? to quantify a moderate amount of added sugar

“Carbohydrates: Good Carbs Guide the Way.” The Nutrition Source, Web. Harvard School of Public Health. <>

“CSPI’s Petition to the FDA to Require Better Sugar Labeling on Foods.” Center for Science in the Public Interest, August 3, 1999. <>

“Dietary Sugars Intake and Cardiovascular Health.” AHA Scientific Statement. Circulation, 2009. <>

“How Does Fruit Juice Compare to Whole Fruit?” The George Mateljan Foundation for the World's Healthiest Foods. The World’s Healthiest Foods, Web. <>

“How Sweet It Is: A Glossary Of Types Of Sugar & Syrup Types.” The Nibble, Web. <>

“Intake of Fruit, Vegetables, and Fruit Juices and Risk of Diabetes in Women.” The Nurses’ Health Study. American Diabetes Association. Diabetes Care, 2008. <>

“Recipe Finder” (with Nutritional Facts). <>

“There’s More to the Story: A Leptin Primer.” Whole9, Web, October 26, 2011. <>

Guyenet, Stephen. “Superstimuli.” Whole Health Source, Web, March 7, 2008. <>

Kingsolver, Barbara, Stephen L. Hopp and Camille Kingsolver. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. HarperCollins, 2007.

Lustig, Robert H., “Sugar: The Bitter Truth.” University of California Television (UCTV), July 27, 2009. <>

Macrae, Fiona and Pat Hagan. “Just One Glass of Orange Juice a Day Could Increase Risk of Diabetes.” Daily Mail, August 14, 2008. <>

Rosedale, Ron. “Insulin, Leptin, Diabetes, and Aging: Not So Strange Bedfellows.” Diabetes Health, Jan 13, 2008. <>

Russell, Lisa. “Connection between Leptin & Insulin.” eHow Health, Web. <>

Satter, Ellyn. Child of Mine: Feeding with Love and Good Sense. Bull Publishing Company March 1, 2000. <>

Sears, William. “Sweet Facts You Should Know About Sugar.” Ask Dr. Sears, Web. <>

Taubes, Gary. “Is Sugar Toxic?” The New York Times, April 13, 2011. <>

Thornton, Jim. “The House that Snacks Built.” Best Life Magazine, June 2007. <>

No comments:

Post a Comment